What is a lateral flow test?
A lateral flow test is a simple test you can take at home to find out if you’re likely to have COVID-19. They are often used to detect asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) cases of the virus.
To use a lateral flow test, you take a sample from your nose, which you place in a vial of fluid before squeezing it onto the included test strip. Your results will display in 15 to 30 minutes.
Do I need a lateral flow test to travel?
In many cases, you will need a lateral flow test to travel, but this will depend on the country you are travelling to and your vaccination status. If you are vaccinated and entering the UK from a non red list country, you will need to take a lateral flow test within 2 days of arrival.
You should always check the guidelines of the country you are travelling to, to make sure you have the right tests.
Superdrug Online Doctor only provides lateral flow tests for entering the UK. We do not provide Fit to Fly certificates for leaving the country.
What is the difference between a lateral flow test and a PCR test?
The main difference between PCR tests and lateral flow tests is that lateral flow tests are used to find out if you have been exposed to coronavirus when you don't have symptoms. PCR tests are used to check whether the symptoms you have are caused by a covid infection. They also differ in how you get your results. With a PCR test, your sample needs to be sent to a lab for analysis, whereas with a lateral flow test, your sample is placed on a testing strip to give you an indicator of your results at home.
The PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is a ‘molecular’ test used to collect a sample from your upper respiratory tract. This sample is sent to a laboratory, where it is analysed to find any traces of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). It is currently the most accurate way of detecting COVID-19 and is usually used by people with symptoms to confirm if they have the virus.
Is the lateral flow test the same as the rapid antigen test?
Yes. Lateral flow tests are also referred to as rapid antigen lateral flow tests. They are the same thing with slightly different names.
Are these the same tests that are used by the NHS?
The lateral flow tests we provide work in the same way as the lateral flow tests provided by the NHS. While they may have a different brand name, they are exactly the same type of tests.
You can not use the lateral flow tests provided by the NHS for travel purposes as you need to register and submit your results through a provider like Superdrug Online Doctor before you can travel.
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